The Jewellery Quarter Business Improvement District (JQBID) exists to improve the business environment and experiences of those living, working, visiting and learning in the Jewellery Quarter, and is funded by the local business community.
In 2017, local businesses overwhelmingly voted ‘yes’ to the JQBID being renewed for a second five-year term. One of the JQBID’s objectives over the next five years is to market and promote the Jewellery Quarter as a unique place to Live, Learn, Work, Visit and invest . As part of this, the JQBID wanted to relaunch their publication ‘Quarter Life’ so it better reflected the people of the JQ and the BID’s four pillars – live, learn, work and visit.
The project was put out to tender by the JQBID, and after successfully presenting a fresh editorial and design approach that met the JQBID’s objectives, Digital Glue took over production of the magazine in May 2018.
The main challenge was to produce a publication which conveys a sense of an area whilst remaining relevant to the people that live there. It was important to stay true to the heritage of the Jewellery Quarter whilst combining it with a modern creative style. The publication had to reflect the four pillars of Live, Learn, Work and Visit, feature engaging content that was easy to read, and represent the diverse JQ community.
We worked very closely with the JQBID team to establish the objectives of the new publication. Along with refreshing the style and reflecting the pillars, it was important to maintain regular communication with the client.
Once the objectives were established, we set up a robust communication process to ensure that the client received regular communication and that they were always aware at each stage of the process. We set up a Slack channel with the client so they could instant message us with their questions or comments, and so we could share features for the client to review at each stage.
In addition to the design and editorial, it is our responsibility to manage the advertising in the magazine. We source businesses that we feel are relevant to advertise and manage the sales and artwork.
We manage the entire process from concept, interviews, copywriting, photography, design and print – freeing up time for the JQBID team to focus on the distribution and marketing of the magazine. We work with the JQBID team to set the editorial calendar for each issue. Our editorial team then reach out to the relevant people, set up interviews, and write each feature. Our design team created a style template which is used as the base for each issue.
We also produced an editorial checklist to include criteria such as making sure the magazine features a diverse range of businesses and people, striking a balance between what the Jewellery Quarter is traditionally famous for, but also showcasing new, upcoming businesses.
As the magazine is quarterly, it was crucial for us to set up a robust project management process from the start to ensure all deadlines are met.
The end result was drastically different from the original A4 ‘Quarter Life’ magazine. We renamed the magazine to ‘JQ Life’ so it was more relevant to the community and changed it to a square ‘handbag’ size so it is small enough to encourage people to pick up a copy and take it away with them, and also stood out amongst standard sized magazines.
The new style was intended to be accessible and visually appealing, including a new masthead with consistent branding throughout. The content itself is created around the four pillars ‘Live, Learn, Work, and Visit’ with each article linking back to one of the pillars of the community. The design features a balance between copy and photography to make sure that it is easy to digest.
We introduced a feature called ‘In Their Own Words’ which is a six-page feature where a member of the JQ community talks to us about their vision for the JQ’s future, their opinions, and ‘top picks’ of places to visit in the Jewellery Quarter. The copy includes call to actions in separate callout boxes, and highlighted quotes and elements to make it easier for the reader to skim through.
The digital downloadable version of the magazine is on the Jewellery Quarter website, with all article call to actions hyperlinked, allowing us to track the performance of the magazine and also helping the smaller businesses with digital exposure.
At the end of each magazine, we hold a session to review what the JQBID team liked best and what we should do next time. We have also sent out a survey to get the community’s feedback. Overall the clients are thrilled with the results and give us regular, positive feedback.
“We are incredibly pleased with the new look and feel of the JQ Life magazine, Digital Glue hit the brief perfectly! Their communication with us throughout the magazine production process has been excellent and the ongoing collaborative working relationship between ourselves and their team has been very productive. We couldn’t be happier with the results!” – JQ BID team
Further InfoDownload the latest edition of JQ life here
- Graphic Design
- Print Management